News for 02.16.08, originally posted at Enjoy Mediation
note: active links at the above link

Fair Playing field?
The Nobles County Deputies Union and the County Officials have agreed to mediation to try and solve the issue of their contract. They have been working out of contract for 18+ months.
the question of a level playing field is raised when I read this, "And during each negotiation meeting, Clarke and his co-steward Nobles County Deputy T.J. Gertsema had to take time off work to attend the negotiations, while the commissioners earned a wage for attending the meetings.
“We’re donating out time, and they get paid to be there,” he commented."
It is also not clear who the mediator is for the case, which is scheduled for February 24th, and if he or she is being paid. If it is a County official, neutrality or lack of could be raised as well.
Read the full article [here]


LA Divorce Mediators Offer Free Services
Kudos to Diana Mercer, Founder of Peace Talks Mediation Services, for getting mentioned on MSNBC's website.
They are offering free divorce mediation as well as fee based on a sliding scale:
"Free mediation services include up to 6 hours of [otherwise] billable time: 3 hours of mediation and 3 hours for a mediation resolution roadmap and report or deal memo."
How about this tidbit:
"With the average Los Angeles divorce costing $100,000(5), Peace Talks' average divorce is $8500."
read the article [here]

Sense & Sensibility in India
VIJAY NAGASWAMI Vijay Nagaswami writes in interesting piece here on the general way Indians react (yes react, not respond) to situations. The question of tolerance, and mob type responses are questioned.
Some quotes to get you to read the opinion piece:
"We respond with irrational intolerance when we use rhetoric, whip up mob frenzy, burn effigies, attack stores selling Valentine Day cards, physically assault hapless young women who go to a pub or talk to young men and so on..."
and
"If irrationally intolerant protests are to be countered by more irrational intolerance, the only cause to be advanced would be that of tabloid journalism."
Read it [here]

Conflict Resolution for India & Pakistan
"What better recipe can anyone prescribe for lasting peace in the subcontinent, i.e better than conflict-resolution especially the resolution of Kashmir conflict, as also demanded, of late, by President Asif Ali Zardari...
...By all standards of international relations and on the basis of all yardsticks of sovereignty, the Kashmir conflict’s resolution need not be viewed as a victory-defeat situation, whether for Pakistan or for India."
Read all of it [here]

President Carter: Still on a Mission For Peace
Did you know the Carter Center opened back in '81?
For more than three decades, former President Jimmy Carter has been trying to bring peace to the Middle East.
Disappointed that President Ronald Reagan showed no interest in dealing with the region's constant conflict and that President George W. Bush "didn't do anything" either, Carter has kept his dream alive since he left office in 1981 through the efforts of the conflict-resolving Carter Center, frequent visits to Israel and writings on the subject matter.
Full Q & A with him [here]

Community Mediation in New Zealand
There could now be a new way to sort out your differences.
Waitakere Community Law Service has launched a community mediation service, a national first.
The service will run in association with New Zealand’s leading resolution and not-for-profit organisation LEADR NZ.
LEADR NZ chairwoman Carol Powell says the service is likely to be dealing with issues that can’t be resolved by standard legal processes with the value of the disputes being $20,000 or less.
Check out LEADR's site [here]

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Tags: ADR, India, New, Pakistan, Zealand, divorce, mediation, news

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